POLAND — Former Sabres coach Ted Nolan has been hired to coach the Polish national team, the International Ice Hockey Federation announced Wednesday.

The Polish Ice Hockey Federation hired Nolan to replace Jacek Plachta, whose contract was not renewed after three years.

“I love challenges. I’ve always been an underdog my whole life. When this opportunity came and seeing where Polish hockey has been for a while, hopefully I can make a difference and rise up to a higher level. I’m really looking forward. It’s probably my biggest challenge to date and my biggest excitement to date,” Nolan told the IIHF website.

Nolan had two coaching stints with the Sabres. He first became head coach in 1995 and coached the team for two seasons, including winning the Jack Adams Award as NHL Coach of the Year in 1997. After a contract dispute, he walked away from the job.

He had a 73-72-19 record.

In his second stint, he was hired mid-season when GM Darcy Regier and head coach Ron Rolston were fired.

Nolan went 40-87-17 in his second stint before being fired by GM Tim Murray.

Nolan recently coached the Latvia national team during the 2014 Sochi Olympics.